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Zumba: Dancing with the stars ... in the gym
Zumba is a Latin-dance-inspired aerobic exercise class that is all about having fun, says originator Beto Perez – more fun because you're not counting steps or having to execute precise moves.
With sexy motivational music playing, you mimic the instructor as she does the rumba, flamenco, mambo and other dance steps. The class is structured so there are fast and slow rhythms – an upbeat meringue might be followed by a slower, African-influenced cumbia and then a hip-gyrating salsa. Perez started Zumba in his native Columbia in the early 1990s when he forgot his regular fitness class music and improvised with his own Latin music tapes.
• Easy to follow
• A feel-good workout for anyone who likes to dance
• Burns an impressive 500 to 1,000 calories an hour
• Training this way (fast/slow intervals) builds endurance. During the slower dance sequences your body can recover – so you can push yourself again when a faster song comes on
• Tones and sculpts the body
• Low impact
• You may become more relaxed when dancing at parties
What you need:
• Loose, comfortable clothing, as well as dance-fitness shoes, which provide lateral and
vertical support, but not too much traction – you'll need to slide for some of the dance moves.
Where/how to get started:
There are more than 500 Zumba instructors in Canada, and classes are held at community
centres, dance studios and fitness clubs. Find Zumba instructors and classes at
www.zumba.com. Average class fees start at about $9.
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Looking for ways to get fit and look trim?
We've gathered our best workout articles—specifically designed for women's bodies—full of proven advice from experts to help you reach your fitness goals. Browse our top cardio tips designed to get you sweating, then learn how to target your trouble areas: thighs, arms and
Workout routines for women – Fitness and cardio
Tips of optimal running form
How landing properly when you run can lower your risk of injury.
Running is an aerobic activity that, when done regularly, helps the heart, lungs and circulatory system stay healthy and helps muscles and bones stay strong. It gives you more energy, may help lower your risk of getting certain cancers --
and it's convenient. "All you have to do is put on shoes and clothes," says fitness pro Shane Lakins of Kingston, Ont., "and you can be out of the door in three minutes."
Learning how to run
When Lakins, a kinesiologist and owner of Kingston Body Management, teaches clients how to run, one of the exercises he
uses is running slowly on the spot. "You'll find that when your foot strikes the ground, it strikes at the forefoot," he says. This is one of the ways Lakins teaches people to land when they run, and it's a perfect example of why he believes runners should be forefoot strikers.
Foot-strike– how your foot hits the ground when you run – is a somewhat controversial area among coaches and runners, who wonder whether they should hit the ground with the heel, the midfoot or the toe.
For many years, a heel-to-toe motion was the standard. Landing on the heel reduces stress and helps stretch calf muscles, say proponents of this method. Also, there is less stress on the Achilles tendon. But opponents contend that landing on your heel can cause over-striding, slower running and poorer form. Landing on your toes, on the other hand, is easier on the knees, ankles and form but is thought to contribute to shinsplints, Achilles tendonitis, muscle pulls and contracted calf muscles.
How to reduce stress on your body while running
Landing on the midfoot or forefoot puts less stress on calf muscles and the Achilles tendon, and it provides better shock absorption. Furthermore, it's a natural motion, says Lakins. "When you get someone who is a heel striker to take off their shoes and run, they will all of a sudden land on their forefoot," he says. "The reason -- without the protection of the thick heel found in most shoes, landing on the heel hurts." Landing on the forefoot means you are using the body's natural shock-absorbing mechanisms rather than relying on your shoe for support.
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Other names: glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine sulphate, glucosamine
hydrochloride, N-acetyl glucosamine, chitosamine
Glucosamine is a compound found naturally in the body, made from glucose and the amino acid glutamine. Glucosamine is needed to produce glycosaminoglycan, a molecule used in the formation and repair of cartilage and other body tissues. Production of glucosamine slows with age.
Glucosamine is available as a nutritional supplement in health food stores and many drug stores. Glucosamine supplements are manufactured in a laboratory from chitin, a substance found in the shells of shrimp, crab, lobster, and other sea creatures. In additional to nutritional supplements, glucosamine is also used in sports drinks and in cosmetics.
Glucosamine is often combined with chondroitin sulfate, a molecule naturally present in cartilage. Chondroitin gives cartilage elasticity and is believed to prevent the destruction of cartilage by enzymes. Glucosamine is sometimes combined with methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, in nutritional supplements.
Why Do People Use Glucosamine?
Glucosamine supplements are widely used for osteoarthritis, particularly knee osteoarthritis. In osteoarthritis, cartilage -- the rubbery material that cushions joints -- becomes stiff and loses its elasticity. This makes the joint prone to damage and may lead to pain, swelling, loss of movement, and further deterioration.
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